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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • pete77pete77 Posts: 12

    Its impressive that you were able to go 290K miles. Can you tell us what you did to prolong the life that long? Also, pls. note if the stuff you did were something that you did yourself or if you had to go to a mechanic to have it done.

    I think this would be very interesting to other members as well.

  • tinglejrtinglejr Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 T&C limited. The air is cold in the rear, cool on the passenger side and warm on the driver. All the settings are to low. I have never had an auto style a/c, so I think I am doing something wrong. Any ideas out there???? Thanks
  • sweetratssweetrats Posts: 7
    We bought our caravan new from the dealer, by 2001 we were having problems with brakes that Midas repaired and then re-repaired and re-repaired etc. When we got tired of that game we took it to the dealer and requested a brake check (2002) and were told brakes were fine. In 2003, still complaining about brakes, we were told that pads were not separating. Replaced the pads and resurfaced the rotors. But by 2004, the dealer decided to replace the master cylinder; then this week (2005) when we took our vehicle in for a 30000 mi check (10000 mi late) the dealer replaced both rear wheel cylinders and bled the hydaulic system and replaced the pads and shoes as well as the rearbrakes and machine drums. The brakes have always squeeked as if they were worn even when new. They finally have stopped squeeking after 5 yrs of that horrid noise. I sure hope that is the end of that story.
    In addition to the brake issue, we had brought our van in (2003) for a leak in the tranny(along with the brake prob), which the dealer fixed at a $550 charge for replacing the solenoid and oil gaskets and refilling the fluid. Now once again at our recent check we were told that the tranny and lines were leaking and they replaced the transmission solenoid pack, valve body and lines. In addition, I was told that the serpentine drive belt was frozen so they also replaced that along with the tensioner. (a quick internet search revealed that it is an extremely common occurance for the serp belt to slip off or shred, no mention of freezing (in fact there is an entire website dedicated to this issue with over 3000 complaints)). This time it cost us $1800 for repairs. At least they didn't charge us to fix the recalled clock spring issue.
    My question is, am I being screwed????? Seems like the same problems keep getting repaired and the costs just keep going up. BTW here is a link to a website dedicated to dodge tranny problems
  • johnbenderjohnbender Posts: 17
    Hello. I have a 2001 Chrysler Voyager and about a month ago I had the front brakes and rotors replaced because they were grinding really bad. Well last week they started grinding again. This time the grinding isn't as harsh, but it is still noticeable. So checked out both the front brakes and the back brakes myself before taking it back to the shop and the brakes and rotors looked just fine. So, I took the van back to the shop and they went ahead and inspected the brakes and they couldn't find anything wrong either. The back brakes and front brake pads look just fine, there is no sign of wear on the rotors either. They couldn't understand why the brakes were still grinding and said to bring it back in if it keeps grinding and they will look at it again. Anyway, to make a long story short, the brakes are still grinding and I wondered if anyone else had this same experience. The shop that I took the van to is very reputable and I have never had any problems with them in the past, so I know they did the job right. Besides the fact that I checked the brakes out myself and couldn't find anything wrong. By the way, I do not have ABS brakes on the van, just normal brakes. I checked other post boards and I found out that some models of vans actually have two sets of brake pads on the front brakes, (one set on the outside and one on the inside) so I checked the owners manual but it mentioned nothing about this being the case. When I checked the brakes, it never occured to me that the van may actually have inside brake pads as well, so I never checked. Does anyone out there know if this van has two sets of brake pads like that. If so, that may be the problem, they may need to replace the inside pads. Or if anyone else out there has any suggestions, I would appreciate the feedback.
  • exploder750exploder750 Posts: 159
    When we run the air conditioning on our 95 Caravan, we get a musty smell coming from the vents. Any ideas? Could the water drain be plugged? Do I pour a disinfectant into the air intake?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    First have to know if the repair shop used factory brake components or aftermarket. Also, did they resurface the rotors or give you new ones?

    I've run across this problem in the past (not on a Chrysler mini-van) and found that some shops that lathe cut rotors sometimes either ran the cutting speed too high or had a dull cutter. Factory supplied and most aftermarket "new" have the surfaces ground with a stone as opposed to cutting with a lathe tool. I've heard these be noisy for a while until the pad smooths the really rough parts out.

    Pads can sometimes be noisy depending on their composition. Some full metallic pads are noisy.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Maybe, but a little premature for a 2004. My first suspect would be a bad gas cap.

  • sweetratssweetrats Posts: 7
    Actually, we just had our van serviced by the dealer and I asked about that very problem with the AC. I was told to first run lysol through all of the vents; from the outside to the inside ie spray into the air intake just in front of the front window and let the AC run at full blast with the fresh circulate on for about 10 min. and then turn off the AC and spray into each of the interior vents.
    Finally, as a permanent solution you should shut off the AC about 5 min before you reach your destination (every time) and just run the fresh circulate.
  • johnbenderjohnbender Posts: 17
    The shop installed brand new factory rotors and brake pads. I know that new brakes can sometimes be noisy, but they usually do not grind, they squeel and they smoke for a couple days. The noise the brakes are making now is a grinding noise, like metal grinding against the rotors. The noise only occurs when I apply the brakes and only about 50 percent of the time. Like I said, I inspected the pads and rotors myself, and they were all brand new. I am thinking the front brakes may have an inside pad as well that may be grinding. I asked the dealer about it and they were of no help whatsoever, they just said I would need to bring it in for them to look at. I saw on one other post board that some of the new chrysler mini vans do have pads on the inside and outside of the front brakes, so in essence each rotor has two pads on it. But I haven't had the time to take the tire off and check that out yet and being Sunday most shops are closed so I can't call around today.
  • joonjoon Posts: 121
    I have a 97' Dodge Caravan 3.3 liter with 93,000 miles in it. I recently noticed that no water comes out when I push the windshield water handle. I checked and the hose that goes from the water tank to water dispenser is not clogged. In fact, when I push the windshield water handle, there is no suction from the hose (I asked my wife to push the handle while I checked the hose) although I can hear some sort of noise coming from under the water tank, which I assume is the electric pump. Has anybody had this problem before? How easy or difficult it is to try to fix this myself? How do I remove the windshield water tank and water pump? I am not very handy around cars.

    Any suggestion is very appreciated.
  • jjtjjjtj Posts: 103
    As far as I know, all disc braking systems have an inner & outer pad, and these sort of squeeze together against the rotor to stop the wheel from turning. Every time I've bought a set of pads, the box contains 4 pads. I can't imagine the shop not replacing all 4. Maybe the grinding is coming from your rear brakes? Or sometimes you'll get a thin layer of surface rust on the rotors after it rains.. this can cause grinding but usually goes away after a couple applications of the brakes, which clears the rust away. If the grinding started when the new front brakes were installed, I'd let the shop look at it and go from there.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Yes, there are inside pads as well. You're right, new pads will sometimes squeal, but not grind.

    Could be something wasn't reassembled correctly.

    In a recent posting I failed to mention that after I arrived back home, I took my car to the Chrysler dealership. I had them check it out. They said the computer was malfunction probably. They would have to put a new one in. That they did. I drove the care for a couple of days and that one crashed. They then had to put a second computer in. That one worked. I only paid for the one and that was around $850.00. In addition to the battery! Has anyone else out there experienced a similar problem?
  • Hello, all.

    In short, I have a 2003 grand caravan, bought used in Dec. 2003, with about 9300 miles on it, in good condition. Now, it's July 2005, mileage is about 47500, and I'm looking at getting my 3rd set of brakes, 3rd set of rotors, and perhaps calipers, hoses, etc., as well. First brake change at 30747 miles, involved pads and rotors. About 10000 miles later, I end up needing a second change at 40460 miles, which involved calipers, hoses, and pads; the left hand caliper seized intermittently before the change, creating a grinding noise. I average 2100 miles per month, mostly in local driving.

    I previously owned a new 2001 Subaru Outback, put about 53000 miles on it in approximately 24 months [about 2200 miles/month], changed brakes 2 times, never changed rotors or calipers or anything else. My driving habits are no different between the two vehicles.

    Question: Do the 2003 grand caravans have problems with their brakes? Maybe I have a clunker as far as the brakes are concerned? Beyond the brake issue, the van is essentially satisfactory.

    Thank you,
  • chan1chan1 Posts: 5
    I also have 2001 Voyager, Does your air bag light come on when you turn your steering wheel? Mine does.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    There have been several reports of poor or defective brake rotors on Chrysler products. This problem seems to be most prevalent on heavier vehicles. Replacing the original rotors with aftermarket ones seems to work well in most cases. Often, Chrysler will replace rotors under warranty, even though technically they may not be covered after the first year. You may have to push them a little, but do it.
  • jones5772jones5772 Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 2000 dodge caravan in Feb. this year. The van has 66000 miles on it and runs great. About a month ago the front passenger brake seem to start sticking(like it was dragging) so i went to auto zone they said it was the caliper or the brake line hose. Changed the caliper first......... worked fine for about four days,then brakes started the same thing so we changed the brake line hose, same result,... worked fine for a few days and started dragging again.So we put it in a locally owed mechanic shop and he said process of elimination he found the problem, it was the brake booster soooooooooo we had that changed exactly the same result. BRAKES STILL DRAGGING!!!! Can anyone help me with this problem?
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    Welcome to the Forums, jones5772! You might also want to visit the Stop here! Let's talk about brakes discussion to see if the members there have any feedback about your problem.


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • tina16tina16 Posts: 1
    Is anyone else having this problem? Our power sliding door, passenger side, has become very stiff to try to open and close manually for about a year now. The dealer keeps lubricating it and saying nothing is wrong, but it is VERY different than it used to be and VERY difficult for a woman or child to open or close. :mad:
    I am so frustrated with the dealer. I called another service dept. and they said that had not had any problems with those. Any comments?
  • I have a 1998 Grand Caravan SE with the same problem discussed on this thread. The entire dash and console indicators, lights, and instruments come on/off intermittently (mostly off). My mechanic replaced the cluster with a used one from a wrecked van, but the problem persisted. BTW... finding the exact cluster, with the correct connector was not easy. Next, after an exhaustive search, we found a used Body Control Module. NOTE: replacing the BCM causes the odometer to read the mileage from the van that it came from. Putting the replacement BCM fixed the original problem, but caused a whole slew of new problems, including engine starting issues. The local Chrysler dealer told us that (for a price) they could flash the BCM to fix the problem, including correcting the mileage. Well... that didnt work either. The dealer then told us that they would have to order a new BCM, and that only the Chrysler factory could program the correct mileage. We received the new BCM a week later, and of course, they programmed it with 149,000 instead of 49,000. So... now we are waiting for the correctly programmed BCM to arrive. Will keep you posted. BTW... for a van with only 49K miles, this van has been in the shop more times than I can count. I am the original owner, have had all regular maintenance completed, gargage the van every night. Will never purchase another Chrysler product.
  • oldlion75oldlion75 Posts: 2
    I have a 97 Dodge Caravan Sport that I had to change out the battery in yesterday. Now the little amber lights on the A/C panel flash on and off. How do I clear this out?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    This has been posted many times on these boards. Try a search, and you are sure to come up withe the details of how to do it yourself.
  • cbwilshacbwilsha Posts: 70
    See message # 754.

  • oldlion75oldlion75 Posts: 2
    It worked. I am shocked but not surprised. Somethime you have just got to laugh at the answers life gives you. Thank you both for the help. I hope to return the favor one day.
  • i have a 93" grand voyager (le). most of the time it runs fine.butevery couple of days when im driving it it will sputter and make a popping niose in the motor area.
    so of course i floor it. (usually happens in the middle of an intersection) it will do that until i get home. start the van back up, then it will run fine for a couple more days. i did a visual inspection of motor. everything looks o.k. (air filter, vaccum lines, fluids.) though maybe bad gas. put in fuel injection cleaner. nothing different. also when it happens it will lose power. rpm guage will go between 100-200 and then go back to normal. oil guage does same thing. especially when i put it in park after driving. not all the time (most) when this all happens i won't even get a CHECK ENGINE light if anyone can help me i would appreciate it vry much. thanks
  • johnbenderjohnbender Posts: 17
    No, I can't say that I have that problem with the airbag light.
  • johnbenderjohnbender Posts: 17
    Well now I have a new problem with my 2001 chrysler voyager. The engine malfunction light came on, so I had the shop hook it up to the computer to see why the light is on and the computer said there was a problem with the brake switch. I called the dealer and the part is only about $15 but I was wondering if this was a job I could do myself. I know where the brake light switch is located and it doesn't look that hard to remove it and install a new one, but then again I know on some vehicles it involves bleeding the brakes and such. Has anyone else out there had this problem before with the brake light switch, if so were you able to replace it on your own?
  • johnnicjohnnic Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan whose wiper arms on the windshield occasionally hit each other while going back and forth. When this happens the blades are shot and once it even bent the driver side wiper arm. Anyone have this problem/know how to fix. I think that I have figured it out after them running fine through some rain storms and then it happens again.
  • The 25 amp fuse marked "engine" keeps blowing on my 96 Plymouth Grand Voyager, usually after about 10 miles of driving. I've taken the car to a dealership, and they could find nothing wrong. Has anyone seen a similar problem before?
  • amandakamandak Posts: 1
    Ok...I have a 1990 Dodge Caravan that is having issues! Number one I was driving and it stalled out, before it stalled, I hit the gas pedal and it slowed down faster. After letting it rest for a few minutes, the van proceeded to start. The problem occured a few other times, but it always started. About a week ago it happened again, and it hasnt started since. We were told to replace the fuel filter. We did. We were told to replace the fuel pump. We did. To no avail. We changed the battery thinking that there just wasnt enough power in it to start the thing. Again, no success. We have been told to change the relay to the fuel pump, yet are having issues in finding the location of the object, so we can change it. The car seems to want to start but doesnt appear to be getting fuel to the engine. We do not hear the fuel pump start when we turn the key. The old fuel pump apparantly wasnt the problem either as it was tested after it was changed and it worked just fine. Can someone help me please!?!?!?!?!?!?! :cry:
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